Who remembers Ovaltine? If you remember Tang, you may also remember Ovaltine. Ovaltine is a brand of milk flavoring product made with malt extract, sugar and whey that can be used with hot or cold milk. Introduced in 1904, Ovaltine was created in Switzerland where is was known as “Ovomaline“. The name is derived from the Latin word “ovum” meaning “egg” and “malt,” which were the main ingredients. A few years later when it was exported to Britain, a misspelling of the name on the trademark application let to the name “Ovaltine“. By 1915, Ovaltine had hit the American markets and was being produced in Illinois. The original formula of malt, milk, eggs and cocoa has changed a bit over the years and today has several different varieties including Malt Ovaltine (sans the cocoa), and Rich Chocolate Ovaltine (without the malt).
I don’t recall how I was first exposed to Ovaltine, but I was reintroduced to it while on vacation with family friends in Hawaii a few years ago. The resort we were at was known for their famous “Ovaltine Froth“. After having one, I knew why they are famous. Neither a milkshake nor a slushy, they are a totally delicious whipped, frozen chocolate treat that I am unable to recreate despite numerous attempts. Seriously, I’m not kidding, my boys and I keep trying to make them. There are many “recipes” out there for the infamous Ovaltine Froth but none of them truly hits the mark. I have accepted that (1) everything is just better in Hawaii, and (2) I may need an industrial strength frozen margarita maker to obtain the airy “froth-like” consistency that makes this drink so special.
My exposure to the Ovaltine Froth is what let to the creation of this tasty chocolate malt cupcake. I had the Ovaltine, so I started playing around with it. That is how my Ovaltine cupcakes were born. I have always been a malt fan. To this day, I will never turn anything down if it has malt in it. And although I’m not typically a dessert gal, these are irresistible.
Rich in chocolate, but not to chocolatey, and loaded with old-fashioned malt flavor in both in the cake as well as the light whipped frosting. As a test, I gave these to the family we traveled to Hawaii with for their stamp of approval. These Ovaltine cupcakes passed the test, and so I am ready to share the recipe with you.
- For the Cupcakes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup Chocolate Malt Ovaltine
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- For the Frosting
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup Chocolate Malt Ovaltine
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- Step 1 For the Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease or line a 12-cupcake baking pan. Set aside.
- Step 2 In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, Ovaltine and sugar. Mix well to incorporate. Add the oil, sour cream, milk, eggs and vanilla extract and whisk to incorporate.
- Step 3 Divide the cupcake batter among the cups of the prepared cupcake tin. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until they are firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Step 4 For the Frosting: In the bowl of a kitchen mixer, such as a KitchenAid fitted with a whisk attachment, add the butter, cocoa, milk, vanilla extract and Ovaltine. Beat on high to incorporate. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute until light and fluffy.
- Step 5 Frost the cupcakes once the cakes have cooled completely. Once frosted, store the cupcakes in the refrigerator.